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PHILADELPHIA-One of Philadelphia’s most iconic office towers–the Wachovia Building–has traded for $57.7 million, or $92 per sf. A private partnership led by Peter Soens and Jeffrey Seligsohn, principals of SSH Real Estate, and Michael Young of Young Capital, have acquired Unit II of 123 South Broad St. from American Financial Realty Trust.

One of the 10 largest buildings in Philadelphia located on the city’s Avenue of the Arts, the Wachovia Building is 626,594 sf and includes the unit encompassing floors six to 30 of 123 South Broad St., and floors six to 11 of the adjacent Witherspoon Building. The building is 79% occupied, with the largest tenant, Wachovia, occupying 30% of the building. Another tenant is law firm Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads.

According to Seligsohn, the acquisition is illustrative of the company’s strategy of acquiring quality class B office buildings in class A locations. Once the asset is acquired, it adds values through new leasing and management strategies. The Wachovia Building, built in 1927, has recently undergone renovations including new elevators, and upgrades to the common corridors and bathrooms. Its new owners plan to make additional improvements, including providing new amenities to the building, such as a Conference Center and Fitness Center.

The firm will also focus on leasing up the remaining space. “There is significant value that will be realized once we successfully lease the 125,000 sf of current vacancy in the” Wachovia Building, Soens says. “The occupancy rate for South Broad St. is over 95%, which is the highest of any submarket in the city. Therefore, we are confident that the remaining space will be leased very quickly.” Soens adds that the company is already in lease negotiations with several new tenants for 60,000 sf–close to 50% of the current vacancy, and it expect to reach the 95% level within the next 12 months.

Paul Feaster, director of Acquisitions for SSH Property Group, SSH Real Estate’s investment division, represented the buyer. Adam Spies of Eastdil Secured represented the seller. SSH Real Estate will be the leasing and management agent for the building.

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